The Healing Power of Love

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If a single individual can be credited with the founding of modern American surgery, William Halsted should be mentioned first.
During the late 1800s Halsted was one of the “Big Four” physicians who helped launch Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  A surgical virtuoso, he was personally responsible for innovating a number of critical procedures.
Halsted was also one of the first surgeons to emphasize strict aseptic technique – thereby saving countless patients who would otherwise have succumbed to infection following surgery.
As a young man he wondered if cocaine, which was not illegal at the time, might provide effective anesthesia for his patients.  His personal experimentation led to a lifelong dependency, something which he unfortunately hoped he could shake by using morphine. 
Despite a 35-year addiction to both drugs he somehow managed to revolutionize American operating room procedures – concerning which we should quickly add, “Don’t try this at home.”  Halsted was obviously a genius.
In 1889 Dr. Halsted – a confirmed 37-year-old bachelor – found himself attracted to Caroline Hampton, his scrub nurse. 
Everything about her struck him as beautiful.  Except for her hands.   
They looked simply dreadful – a direct result of the “sterile technique” of the time.  Caroline’s hands had been repeatedly sloshed in disinfecting solutions of mercuric chloride, and now they looked beefy and red.
So Halsted, hoping to preserve the beauty of the hands of the woman he loved, invented surgical gloves.  For good measure he also invented caps, gowns, and masks for everyone else in his hospital’s operating rooms.
And then he married Caroline.  
In the case of William Halsted, love covered what was painful and blighted.  Love shields what is wounded.  It protects what is painful.
Which brings to mind the words of Peter: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).
How big is a multitude?  We live in a world in which a million things can go wrong every day.  To be married, to be a friend, to be a parent, or to be a child means to suffer countless nicks and bruises to our egos and to our souls. 
But God’s love covers them all.  And we can share such love with each other. 
For love is the one medicine that can heal our deepest wounds.